decorating · housekeeping · stuff I like

book review: “Styled” by Emily Henderson


A year ago, I completed a giant life-changing Marie Kondo style tidy of my entire home. I need to do a blog post on what the effects are a year out, but in the meantime I thought I’d spend some time recommending another book that has helped me pull my home together: Styled by Emily Henderson.

Styled has proven to be a nice balance to the big tidy. After a massive edit and purge of hundreds of unused clothes, books, decorative, and “other” miscellaneous items my home was very tidy, that is true. But it was also a little… I don’t know… echo-y?

After enjoying the new-found closet and drawer space for several months, it became clear to me I needed to layer in a little more pretty to make the house feel like home again. Part of the tidying process involved getting rid of decorative items that didn’t “spark joy” but I needed to figure out a way to add some personality, color, and very selective stuff back into the mix.

Henderson’s book Styled is great for just that. The book is loaded with beautiful photographs and plenty of advice based on her experiences as a professional decorator and interior stylist. She starts with a quiz to help name your decor preferences. I got “bohemian” which was a surprise to me because I usually feel my spaces end up more ordered and minimal, BUT it does explain my love of the pink rug I put in my living room, all my accumulated fabrics and textiles, and my inability to stick strictly to one style. I’ve definitely realized my style is eclectic, but still organized and feminine.


She shares some great tips like, if you love color, make sure your walls are neutral. Sounds counter-intuitive right? But, with lots of colorful accessories you will look like a crazy if you also have rainbow walls. She covers color palettes, layering, balance, scale, mood, and focal points. She also writes great advice on how to arrange items for a perfect photograph.

For me, I needed to replace tired curtains and rugs and layer in more accessories such as pretty pillows, more throws, stacks of books, framed pictures, vases, coasters, and even the occasional knickknack decorative item. Walls need at least some artwork and well-placed mirrors. I didn’t need to buy any new stuff (aside from replacing the rug and curtains), but Styled was great for helping make what I already owned work and look better.

Sometimes less is more (thanks Marie Kondo!) and sometimes more is more (thanks Emily Henderson!) After a giant tidy and a clean slate, Styled was a breath of fresh air and a perfect way to start having fun decorating again.


You can read about my big life-changing tidy here.


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